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What is a forminotomy?

The foraminotomy is a decompression surgery like a laminectomy, but rather than removing the entire lamina, the surgery opens just the narrowing passageway through which the nerve roots pass from the spinal cord to the body. The indications are similar to that of the laminectomy, but the foraminotomy is a less invasive procedure.

What is a spinal fusion?

A fusion is a procedure used to correct problems associated with instability of the vertebrae of the spine. It is designed to eliminate motion by connecting two or more vertebrae together, and can be performed on either low back or neck.

Why is a fusion done?

A fusion is typically recommended when there is instability of the spine leading to pain. It may help eliminate symptoms caused by stenosis, fracture, infection, a tumor, or in some cases degenerative disc disease. A fusion may be done from the front, called an ‘anterior fusion,’ or from the back, called a ‘posterior fusion.' Recent advances have led to lateral interbody fusions and interlaminar lumbar-instrumented fusions, which are less invasive procedures.

Why is a disc replacement done?

Total disc replacement is often done in place of an instrumented fusion in the neck. The ‘disc’ is made of material that allows for normal movement in the disc that has been replaced. While a traditional fusion ‘welds’ two neck vertebrae together, the artificial disc permits more normal motion between two vertebrae after the disc in the neck has been removed.

What is a vertebroplasty?

Vertebroplasty or khypoplasty is an outpatient procedure designed to relieve pain of patients with a vertebral compression fraction. This fracture causes the vertebrae to partially collapse and leads to instability and pain.

Why is a vertebroplasty done?

The surgery is done to restore stability to the partially collapsed vertebrae. It has been shown to be safe and provide a 90% reduction in pain.


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